A new Chrome challenger – the cryptocurrency-based, privacy-focused Brave – said it had drawn 20 million users away from Chrome, FireFox, and Safari – with Brave users up 130% in just one year, people opting for its “privacy -default” model.
“Users are fed up with surveillance capitalism, and 20 million people have switched to Brave for a whole new web ecosystem with an opt-in ad economy that puts them back in control of their browsing experience,” Brendan Eich, Managing Director and co-founder of Brave, said in a statement alongside Brave’s latest figures.
Brave, which claims to aggressively block advertisers and trackers wherever it can, uses its Brave Shields feature by default to block third-party ads, trackers, autoplay videos, and device fingerprints.
“The global privacy movement is gaining momentum, and this step is just one more step in our journey to make privacy by default a standard for all web users,” Eich added.
Brave now has 20.5 million monthly active users, up from 8.7 million in November 2019, and 7 million daily active users, up from 3 million just 12 months ago. The number of so-called verified content creators on Brave – including YouTuber Philip DeFranco – has also jumped to nearly one million, from 300,000 last year.
Unlike Chrome and most other browsers, Brave rewards users for viewing ads using its Basic Attention Token (BAT) cryptocurrency. Some then pass them on to creators on YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, GitHub, and similar websites, with 26 million BAT tokens donated so far. Brave users can choose when to see the ads and they get 70% of the ad revenue back.
Brave’s apparent success over the past year comes amid its campaign to encourage regulators to crack down on Google Chrome’s dominance in the browser market.
In March, Brave lodged a formal complaint against Google with the Irish head of the General Data Protection Regulation, where Google’s European headquarters are located, saying the search giant behaved irresponsibly over the how it collected and shared the personal data of its users.